Saturday, October 15, 2011

Creston Valley's R-T-C-SG

So what exactly is R-T-C-SG? Well that's the abbreviation that Simon from Creston Valley Meats uses on one of his new mixed Raw Dog Foods that he offers. It stands for Rabbit, Tripe, Chicken, and Stomach Grass. He started getting an abundance of rabbits and wanted to lower the cost with rabbit mixes for his raw feeding customers so had sent out an e-mail asking us what we would like to see it mixed with. He usually sells whole rabbits for a little bit under $2.00/lb and cleaned rabbit in patty form for about $4.00/lb. He made the mixture so that it would be easy on our pockets.

Not only was the price for R-T-C-SG a selling point for me, which was $1.65/lb, but it was also the fact that they came in patty form! Each patty is around 5 oz, and well if things are in patty form it makes portioning the food for the day much easier! I have gotten stuff from Creston in the past where it was just in a gallon zip lock bag and I had to just estimate how much each scoop was that I was taking out of the bag. It was also a lot messier in a regular zip lock bag. The convenience of the patty form definitely sealed the deal for me.

R-T-C-SG comes with four patties per pack, and about 9 packs per box. For Mika this would last her about 6.5 weeks. However, she doesn't get this everyday. Although not listed there is a big of organ mix in there, I only recognize it because I've gotten the organ mix before and there are parts of livers and kidneys in there very visible, especially since it is full rabbit and chicken mixed in. The organ content in R-T-C-SG is a bit too much for Mika to be eating this everyday, so that's why she gets once a week and it's usually following or will be followed up with a bone-in meal.

While everything raw has bit of an odor to it, I like this mixture better. It does have tripe in it which is awesome for the dogs, and it doesn't have the disgusting smell that tripe gives off on it's own. I'm not going to say that this smells good, because heck, what raw food smells good? But the smell is tolerable compared to tripe! Hopefully we will see these back up on Creston Valley to make another purchase. Mika loved it, and I'm sure Kyuubi will love it too when he's put on a 100% raw diet.

Posing like a good Shiba in front of her food

Finally, able to chow down~

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ostrich Tail

I finally opened the box of ostrich tails that I purchased from Creston Valley Meats. The tails are in a big ziplock bag with about 7 pieces of ostrich tail in it. Right when I opened the bag the pups came running into the kitchen sniffing out the new raw item on their menu. Needless to say they were excited and trying to jump all over me trying to figure out what I'm attempting to take out of the bag. I carefully took one out, probably with a look of disgust on my face, something about tails didn't sit right with me, but I knew the ostrich tail would make a great RMB for the pups. Sucked it up and put it on the cutting board to snap a picture of the pup's treat that evening. I mean, how often do dogs get to eat an ostrich tail? The first piece I grabbed is one of the smaller pieces in the bag. It is about 1 1/2 inches in width (at the widest part of the tail) and about 4 inches in length. A pretty decent size and definitely not a choking hazard. Even though I have been feeding raw for quite some time now, each time I give them something new I am a bit cautious, especially when it is a bone item. I wan to make sure they are able to gnaw and chew on the bone without hurting themselves. I usually do not have a problem with Mika since she chews her food and doesn't swallow or gulp down her food (unless she gets a boneless meal). Kyuubi, on the other hand, will try to swallow things sometimes so I have to be careful with him. I was glad the pieces were big enough that I did not have to worry so much about him trying to gulp the entire tail.

First pup to try the ostrich tail was Kyuubi. I laid their raw towel out on the patio and put the ostrich tail down on it. He immediately jumped onto the towel and sniffed out the ostrich tail. A few licks and then he started to try to chew the meat off the bone. He doesn't like using his paws so it was a bit difficult for him to rip the meat off the bone. He slowly started to chew the bone with the meat attached. He was happy when I came up and held the ostrich tail for him to chew on. He had the most satisfied look on his face while crunching away at the tail. He got a good chunk of the bone off and so I rotated the tail to a meatier side so he could get some of the meat. He ripped off pieces of the meat with his teeth and it helped a little since I was tugging on it a bit when he was getting a grip on the meat. Since this was a new item I did not let him eat very much of it. I wanted to make sure he would digest the tail perfectly fine before feeding him an entire tail as a bone-in meal. He did just fine with the ostrich tail and will probably get it later on this week as an evening meal. The tail is quite boney and I would most need to give him an organ meal in the morning before hand.

Now it's Mika's turn. I figured she would do just fine with the ostrich tail since she's been on a raw diet for almost a year now. She does what she usually does when she gets a RMB. She sits excitedly waiting for me to put it down for her. After putting it down and giving her the "ok" to go for it, she slowly walks up to it, sniffing the ostrich tail. Slowly, she starts to lick it, trying to figure out if she really wants to snack on it. She also doesn't like to use her paws on RMBs so after a while I come save the day again and hold the ostrich tail for her. She immediately opens her mouth and gets the tail in between her molars. She knows exactly what to do when wanting and needing to crunch up bone pieces. I felt more comfortable with her eating the tail than I did when Kyuubi was eating it. She chews the bones thoroughly before swallowing it. Mika has always been good about eating bones and has never thrown up any of the RMBs she's eaten. After a while I remove the ostrich tail and put it back into it's ziplock bag with the other tails. Unfortunately, Mika scared me a bit after eating the ostrich tail. She was hacking a bit 30 minutes after eating some of it. This is the first time she has showed signs of wanting and needing to throw up after having something bone-in.

Kyuubi's rating of the ostrich tail? Best RMB he's had to date! He is tired of the boring chicken cuts and the pork neck.

 Mika's rating of the ostrich tail? Loved it, but probably won't be having it very often. I will try it again with her to see if she can handle it better than she did the other night.

As for me, I will probably purchase ostrich tails again when I run out. Kyuubi did very well with them. It's also another protein that they get that is different from the normal cuts that I can easily get at the supermarket. Oh, another plus? It's only $.60/lb. Yeah, I'll definitely be getting these again in the future!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Importance of Research

My heart is aching for poor Wrinkles. Wrinkles is a 12 week old Chinese Shar-Pei that my BIL's brother(s) (he has too many brothers so this entry might get confusing) had bought. He is the cutest little thing with all his wrinkles (hence the name Wrinkles).

When I first saw him, I noticed that his left eye wasn't opened. He couldn't see out of his life eye very well and had felt very uncomfortable when he first was introduced to Mika and Kyuubi. I saw how run and hide so I put Mika and Kyuubi in my office and went out to give Wrinkles some treats. I heard that he wasn't eating much so I wanted to see if he would take some Stella & Chewy's freeze dried patties from me. At first he wouldn't take it from my hand so I put pieces on the ground, and slowly he started eating it. Slowly, but surely he started taking the treats from me. After an hour or so we reintroduced the dogs one at a time to Wrinkles. He and Kyuubi hit it off very well (there's a video of them playing together in my last post).

Amy, who is taking care of Wrinkles, is my BIL's younger brother's (not the brother who purchased Wrinkles) girlfriend, and they have taken on the responsibility of caring for him although they did not purchase him. They are both very new at raising a puppy and were pretty scared that his left eye was completely shut and having puss form around it. I scheduled a vet appointment for them yesterday afternoon to get him checked out since Wrinkles did not have his first vet appointment yet. I was intending on staying at work, but Amy was going to go alone to the vet and was a bit scared. She asked me to accompany her and so I went with her and Wrinkles to the vet.

12 weeks, weighing in at 20 lbs! He was such a good boy when being handled by the vet tech. Even got his nails trimmed without a struggle. Only problem was, they couldn't see his eye. They took him to the back and put some numbing medication on his eye to see if they could open it and take a look. Turns out his eyelid was curled all the way down. Poor guy has entropion! The vet told us that he has a very severe case of entropion and referred us to an ophthalmologist.

Amy wasn't expecting to care for a dog anytime soon, especially one she did not research and want herself. She is now caring for a dog that someone else purchased because they do not know how to care for him or take time off from their lives to feed him, play with him, put the drops needed in his eye. I am just upset at the irresponsibility that I witnessed these past few days with Wrinkles. I am glad that Amy has stepped up to help take care of him, but she shouldn't have to.

Before taking Wrinkles home, my BIL's brother had asked the breeder about his eye. The breeder shrugged it off and said it will go away. I told them they need to contact the breeder and let them know what is going on with Wrinkles. I read through the contract that was sent with Wrinkles. Funny thing is, there's a spot for the "seller" to sign, yet no signature. There isn't even a number to call and contact the breeder. Only way to contact is via e-mail. I hope they can get things settled with the breeder.

This morning Wrinkles was brought to the ophthalmologist. They didn't do the corrective surgery, given he is very young, they didn't feel like it was needed at such a young age. However, they did put him under and pulled his eyelids back out and stapled them. They are hoping that he will eventually grow into them and that having the staples out will get rid of his infection and he won't need the corrective surgery in the future. The staples will stay in for they are hoping 2 weeks, however the ophthalmologist said there's a chance he will need to have the staples in for a few months.

The poor guy is only 13 weeks old and is already in so much pain. He is going to lose out on the important socialization window. I wish there was more I could do to help, but I can only keep trying to spread the word about researching breeds that one may be interested in and then researching breeders. It is so important to find a breeder that will be there 24/7 for support.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kai Ken meets Shar-Pei

Sister's brother in laws recently purchased a Shar-Pei puppy. He is the cutest little thing ever! He will be joining Mika and Kyuubi at work from now on too! They have a new playmate while at the office!

Here's a video of Kyuubi and Wrinkles, the Shar-Pei puppy!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sandy Paws

Last Sunday I took the pups with me to have a mini meetup with Corina, Jesse, Joey and their pups. It was almost a farewell meetup for Shuran who will be placed for a month with another family to see how he does. If everything goes well he will be placed with them as a co-op home to Corina's breeding program. It was very last minute as we had no idea where we were going to meetup at until an hour before.

I had never taken the dogs to the dog beach before so I wasn't sure what to expect since it is not closed off. Kyuubi did very well off leash. Except for the part of jumping all over people who were trying to tan. Oh well, maybe that will let people know that they shouldn't be laying out in the sun at the dog area for the beach. Kyuubi went off for a bit on his own and came back to find us. I was proud of him, but at the same time I think I was having some anxiety wondering if he would make his way back. We did keep an eye on him from a distance.

Around 10 weeks old Kyuubi tried to jump into a little river flowing through the complex where Kevin's mom lives. He did get wet, and seemed to want to keep going in the water. However, at the beach, he was terrified of the water. Someone had mention it might be because that the water was actually coming towards him and he might not have liked that. Mika, too was afraid of the water, but ended up getting wet because she wanted to dig in the wet sand and chase other dogs who were fetching balls out of the ocean.

The pups had fun and got to hang out with their buddies. I want to continue taking them to the dog beach, but I can do without the sand, so I think we'll just stick to dog parks for now.

Videos from the Dog Beach

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sharing is Caring

When we first brought Kyuubi home, Mika wasn't too sure about him. The first time I ever heard her growl was when the second day he was home with us and I heard Mika let out a growl! He had gotten near her OLD trachea chew that she refused to eat for 2 months. It was sitting in an old dog bed where we kept a lot of her toys at the time. We had forgotten it was there because well, she barely ever touched it. She suddenly wanted it though when Kyuubi showed a bit of interest in it. After that we made sure that we would keep them separated while they have chews or are fed. That didn't last long though because Mika would let Kyuubi take anything he wanted from her. She realized he was there to stay after the third day and didn't care anymore that he wanted to take her toy or her chew. She just went on to something else.

Kyuubi on the other hand resource guarded almost everything from Mika. Even while being fed in his crate he would bark at Mika if she even glimpsed over at him. He was kibble fed for probably the first two weeks or so when we got him then we switched him over to a raw diet. While being fed kibble in the beginning he would continuously guard it from Mika. After he started getting some raw, he no longer cared if she was near his crate while he had kibble. For a while he wouldn't eat his kibble anymore and just wanted raw. Mika would go over to his bowl and eat and he would go back to his bowl of kibble and they would eat it together.

Now, I won't say that Kyuubi no longer resource guards against Mika because he does sometimes. I still feed them separately, but if it's kibble (if I forget to defrost something) it would just be down in the kitchen and he will usually eat and if Mika wants to snack on some he has no problems sharing with her. When he's being fed a chicken wing though that's a whole different story. He's fed in his crate and he will still bark at Mika if she walks by him. He doesn't resource guard against antlers, bully sticks or other chews.

Here's a cute video of them together sharing an antler. Kyuubi though, doesn't really want it, he more so is messing around and annoying Mika. She lets out a whine at him that I find cute!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Puppy FAQs

I enjoy browsing the Shiba Inu forum and reading updates about the other shibas and how they are doing. I also enjoy having new people join and seeing their cute puppy fluffballs, cause well puppies are CUTE! Who doesn't love to see pictures of puppies?

One thing I do not enjoy are the redundant questions that are asked almost every other day. There is a search function on the forum, but apparently people do not like to use it very much. Myself and I'm sure other regular forum members do not mind answering questions, but when the same questions are asked so often it gets a bit tiring.

Here is a small list I put together the other night.

1. I just brought my new puppy home, why won't s/he eat very much?
A: Your puppy has just been taken out of his/her environment where they were with his/her littermates and mom. Your pup is still getting used to the new surroundings. Everything is a bit overwhelming for your pup right now, so give your pup some time to adjust to his/her new living arrangements.

2. Why won't my puppy walk on a leash?
A: Puppies do not automatically know that they are supposed to walk when you put a leash on them. It is something that has to be taught. First try letting your pup drag the leash around the house so they get used to walking around with the leash on them. Next time you take your puppy out have treats on hand and when your pup is by your side treat him/her for being next to you. This will also teach your pup to loose leash walk.

3. Help! My puppy is peeing everywhere inside the house!
A: Even if your breeder tells you that your puppy is housebroken, chances are your puppy is not. It's not because your breeder lied to you, but because most puppies and even dogs are only housebroken in their current house and not in new environments.  So with new puppies and if adults need to be housebroken, crate training is in order. Puppies and dogs in general do not want to soil in their area and will hold it. Each and everytime you take your puppy out of his/her crate, immediately take your puppy outside to eliminate. Praise, praise and treat when your puppy goes. If your puppy does not go, bring your puppy back inside and crate for 10 minutes and then take your puppy back outside. Keep doing this until your puppy finally goes. When your puppy is playing and not in his/her crate please be sure to keep a close watch on your puppy. If you do not have your 100% attention on your puppy then please put your puppy in his/her crate or in an ex-pen. This will make housebreaking a lot easier on the both of you.

4. My puppy's mouth is bleeding! What is going on?
A: Puppy just like babies lose their teeth. When their adult ones are ready to come they start to teeth and lose their puppy teeth. You will notice their breath will be a bit more stinky than usual. Once all their adult teeth are in the bleeding should stop and so should the bad puppy breath. If your puppy still has very bad breath and all his/her adult teeth are in please schedule a dental appointment with your vet as your pup may have a case of gingivitis.

5. Are rawhides okay to feed my puppy?
A: I personally do not feed rawhides as they do not digest properly and can cause a blockage. If you would like to give your puppy something to chew on besides your furniture and shoes, look into specific chew toys from nylabone. There are also alternative chews such as bullysticks and antlers. Chews are a great workout for your puppy and it helps keep them busy and learn to chew on their stuff and not yours.

6. Sudden fur loss, what's happening?
A: Puppies lose their soft puppy fuzz and shed most of it and their guard hair comes in. During the time when your puppy starts to lose his/her puppy fur your puppy will start to scratch a bit more than usual. If your puppy has a balding spot you may want to take your puppy to the vet to rule out mange. If it is not mange there is a chance your puppy may have allergies to certain ingredients in his/her food. Although puppies do not develop allergies at that young of an age it is possible for them to show it early on.

7. My puppy growls at me when I get near his/her food bowl.
A: Your puppy is resource guarding. When you see this you will want to get rid of this behavior immediately. You can start by hand feeding your puppy. This will let your puppy know that good things (such as food) comes from you. If you do not want to hand feed your puppy try having a high value treat and giving the treat to your puppy while s/he is growling when you approach. Do not take your puppy's food bowl away. Just give treats to your puppy and your puppy will build a positive association with you and his/her food.

8. All my puppy does his scream and cry in his/her crate.
A: A lot of puppies do not like to be confined. Making positive associations with his/her crate is very important. Try feeding your puppy in his/her crate. Crate time can be fun time and not just being locked up. Give your puppy something to do while crated. Frozen kongs are a favorite in this house. I usually will mix greek yogurt with blueberries and freeze it. If your puppy continues to cry and scream and you know that your puppy does not need to be fed or let out to eliminate then just ignore the cries. Your puppy will eventually calm down. If you keep letting your puppy out when s/he cries your puppy will take advantage of that and cry each time s/he does not want to be crated.

9. My puppy started running around like a maniac!!!
A: All puppies get the "zoomies". It's just a burst of energy and they start to run around and do not stop until they are out of breath! Most of the time it is due to lack of exercise or mental stimulation. Unless your puppy is like mine and likes to do her zoomies after a 45 minute walk. Having the zoomies is perfectly normal, especially in puppies.

10. Should I put my puppy in training/puppy kindergarten?
A: YES! YES!! YES!!! Puppy K classes are so important. Make sure to find a place that uses positive reinforcement. Puppy K classes will help your puppy build his/her confidence. It also enables your puppy to learn bite inhibition by playing with other puppies. The class helps you to curb unwanted behaviors early on where it is easiest to teach your puppy good behaviors. Socializing your puppy with other puppies, people, surfaces, textures, noises, will help you have a wonderful companion in the future, instead of having a fearful, reactive, hard-to-control dog.

I'm sure there are more questions that I am missing, but I felt 10 was a good number to start with. Hopefully this FAQ will help at least one person.

Here is a video of Kyuubi experiencing a brand new surface in his Puppy K class.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Belated Gotcha Day!

So I am a day late to this, as I was busy yesterday and was not able to post about it!

It's been one year since I brought little Mika home! As it turns out it is also my birthday. Yes we picked her up on my birthday last year! It was not planned that way either. She was supposed to arrive a few days before, but I wasn't able to get her until the weekend started. She is the best unplanned birthday gift I could have received!

starting to come out of her crate
I remember trying to look into the crate after picking her up at the airport. She was so afraid and didn't want to come out of the crate. We decided to leave her in there while we drove home. When we got home we opened the crate and she just stood in the back. Wanting her to get more comfortable we opened the top of the crate so she could see her new surroundings. She started slowly coming out to sniff us. Still a bit timid, but she did warmed up quickly.

It's been an amazing experience living with her for the past year and I hope every year with her just gets better.

For her Gotcha Day, we decided to go to the local shiba meetup that was scheduled in our area. She had a blast running around and playing with other dogs at the dog park. After all the running and wrestling she did she was wiped out when she got home. It was a fun filled doggy day for her!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Beef Trim

One protein Mika is on quite frequently is beef. She's had beef shanks and ground beef. Lately, her beef has been the beef trim offered by Creston Valley Meats. Beef trim varies between different suppliers and butchers. I am very pleased with the beef trim I have received from Simon. Mika also adores the beef trim. Kyuubi will be getting some in the next few weeks. I will be adding bits of beef trim to his meals to get him used to a different protein. He's been eating chicken for the past few weeks and I think he's ready to add in another protein.

This box had 3 bags of beef trim
The beef trim comes in boxes ranging from 10 - 20 lbs. The beef trim that I get from Simon is very lean, sometimes having tendons attached to it and has the silver skin covering of muscles. The beef trim is from spare parts after aging the beef for human consumption. The rest that are not approved for human consumption is put together for pets. Since the beef is aged, when thawed it doesn't give off much water content. What I love most about the beef trim is that it has already been cut up, which make it very easy to portion and pull apart when thawed. The only con I have experienced so far with the beef trim is that it does give off an odd odor, possibly because it was aged.

Overall, I am very happy with the beef trim from Simon and will continue to purchase it from him. It is probably one of my favorite products I have gotten from him.

Isn't messy compared to other products

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Picture Story

I apologize for the brightness, it was a very sunny day!

Creston Valley Meats

Finally getting a freezer chest has allowed me to have the luxury of buying in bulk from Creston Valley Meats. I got word about Simon and his processing plant through the Dogster - Raw Food Diet forum. I asked where people were getting their meats from in the OC area and one member responded with a few places and one being Creston Valley.

Simon makes biweekly trips in CA. One week to Northern California and the other to Southern California. He has various stops throughout CA, so we place our orders and let him know which drop off location we would like to pick up at. Simon also uses twitter to tweet his locations so people who are waiting for him know exactly which current drop off location he is heading to and the estimated arrival time to said destination. He also has someone helping him who calls all the clients to let them know they will be at their said drop off location at said time. He has a $5.00 flat rate charge for delivery to said location. It doesn't matter how much you buy, the delivery/shipping charges is always $5.00, therefore buying in bulk would be ideal. Before having the freezer chest I didn't want to make any purchases because it just wasn't worth it to me if I couldn't get what I wanted or be able to fit it in the freezer. Every order made is at least 10 lbs and I just did not have the room to fit 10 lbs worth of meat at a time. So going to the grocery store weekly and sometimes even a few times a week was normal until I finally got the freezer chest.

The first time I looked at Simon's site I was heaven! I envied all the people who were able to feed their dogs more than just the regular cuts that anyone can get from the grocery store. The different organs offered that I couldn't find at the local market, great prices, and most of all the green tripe made Simon my main supplier for dog food. Of course I have to try to stomach the smell of a lot of these products because it is for pet consumption, not human consumption, so the smell can be a bit overwhelming and hard to handle than the smell of regular raw meat. Plus, tripe isn't supposed to smell good anyway!

If you currently live in CA and do raw feed your dog(s), you should definitely consider using Simon as a supplier, he has great prices and has different meats and organs just for your furry friend. Believe me, Kyuubi and Mika are in love with the variety they are able to get and plus I don't end up breaking my bank raw feeding two dogs.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Grrr-emlins - Tuff N Stuffed Latex Dog Toys

I love to spoil the pups by buying them new toys. During Christmas I was looking for toys to send to Mika's Secret Santa I had her participate in with other Shibas. I asked Kevin for advice and he found the Grrr-emlins. I thought they were so hideous I did not want to send one to Mika's Secret Santa. I told Kevin he could buy them for Mika though since he thought they were so cool.

He finally got around to purchasing them recently. They are supposed to be pretty durable, filled with a certain type of foam and it also has a squeaker built in. For some reason most Nihon Kens love squeaker toys so I knew it was going to be hit with the pups because of the squeakers.

So for the durable part. Mika has already chewed off one of the ears to the Grrr-emlins. Poor guy. Didn't see it coming. However, the other two we have seem to be in-tact still. I kind of want to collect them all and see which one lasts the longest. I think the one that has the destroyed ear is a favorite though. Mika would not chew on any other Grrr-emlin like she did with "Booglin". Perhaps the ears to Booglin felt nice on her teeth to chew on.

We got a really good deal on these toys, and so far they have been keeping the pups occupied, so overall it was worth the money spent on them. They are ugly, but I am becoming fond of them now!

Grrr-emlin - Booglin. You can see Mika's teeth marks on his ears

Grrr-emlin - Slugger

 Hippo - he is not part of the Grrr-emlin line, but is still a Tuff N Stuffed Latex Toy

Now I just need to get the other Grrr-emlins and Tuff N Stuffed Latex Toys

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Training For Life

I recently purchased the Training For Life package from Wags & Wiggles for Kyuubi. He proves to have decent recall. It is far better than Mika's recall. He also has better focus on us than Mika did at her age and currently does. I have high hopes for him and hopefully we'll be able to take advantage of the Training For Life package.

The Training For Life package includes:
Puppy Classes - until the age of 5 months
Obedience Level 1
Obedience Level 2
Obedience Level 3 (newly added to their training program)
CGC (Canine Good Citizen)
Real Life Manners

It also includes their quick $25 classes which are
Street Smarts
Focused Attention
Really Reliable Recall
Got Stay?
Advanced Clicker Training

Saturday was his first class, but there was only one other puppy there, so we both had 1 on 1 time with the trainer. We had already gone through this with Mika so it was pretty laid back and we talked casually with the trainer.

Kyuubi did great, he knew all the beginning commands already, because well, we started with him from day 1 that we got him. We just didn't use the clicker with him, we just used verbal praises when he did something right. He was a bit timid with the clicker at first. So I put the clicker behind my back and would click it there instead until he got used to it.

We took frequent breaks as he was starting to lose his focus on us. He was curious about the training facility and wanted to sniff around a bit. We put him on leash and Kevin asked our trainer if she would allow Kyuubi to go through the tunnel. He wasn't afraid of the tunnel at all, but he did take his time going through it the first few times and sniffed it out. I'm sure his nose was working overtime with all the scent of the many dogs that have gone through the tunnel before him (including his older sister, Mika).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Protection Shiba

Mika has been coming into the office with me for a while now, and she knows everyone that works there, since there isn't many of us in the office. However, she still gets worked up when she hears someone entering the building that she does not know. She usually never barks at Amy who works in the front office when she comes into my office to talk to me. Or if she does bark she calms down once Amy starts talking to her. Now that I have Kyuubi in the office with me as well, Mika does not stop barking at Amy when she comes into "our" office.

Making sure no one gets near Kyuubi

It's cute that she is protecting and guarding him from people other than myself and Kevin, but also annoying when I'm on the phone with a customer and she goes off full blast barking. Well, she is the big sister and I guess she has to take care of her little brother when the parents are a bit busy with work.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Mika!

Wow! She is a year old! Time sure does fly! I cannot believe my little shiba pup is going to be an adult now! So what are the plans for her birthday? I was going to throw her a doggy party, but the time just isn't right. With the expo coming up this weekend, I will be too busy to plan anything for her. However, she will be having a fun filled time at Wags & Wiggles daycare.

There has been ups and downs with her, but she has taught me so much in the past 10 months that I've had her. Mika was my first dog on my own that was not a family dog. She triggered something inside of me, a passion I never thought I had before, and I just want to continue learning so that I can better educate myself in order to do good by her and any other pet that comes into my life. Thank you little Mika for helping me discover a new me.

Mika 10 weeks

Mika few weeks short of 1 year

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Doggy See, Doggy Do

One of the best things about adding a puppy into a family where there is already a well mannered dog is that the new pup will pickup on good manners from the already established dog in the household. Well, it's the total opposite!

Kyuubi is very easy to direct. If he's chewing on something he isn't supposed to and there is a toy near him all I have to do is make the sound "ah, ah, ah", he stops what he's doing and goes after the toy or if there isn't a toy nearby I bring one to him and he forgets about whatever he is chewing on and goes for the toy.

Taking my dogs with me everywhere I go, I always have a bag full of their toys, treats, poo bags, etc. so little Kyuubi thinks it's okay to chew on the bag that has his goodies in it. Mika did see him chew on the bag, and she also saw me redirect him to an appropriate thing to chew on. Then an hour later when I put Kyuubi down for a nap, I find Mika chewing on the bag now! Something she's never done before. Oh well, doggy see, doggy do.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Introducing Yamabushi's Kyuubi no Yoko

Finally Kyuubi's formal introduction. He is a Kai Ken, which is one of the six native Japanese Spitz breed. We got him from Brad and Jen Anderson of Yamabushi Kennel. We are lucky to have gotten him from Brad & Jen as they have been trying their best to import new Kai Kens here to North America to help preserve the breed, bringing in new bloodlines and to add genetic diversity.

We were given updated pictures of Kyuubi and his littermates every so often since they were 3 days old, so it was exciting to see them grow. I will try my best to update as much as I can as he and Mika grow together, but now that I have both of them I am a bit more busy.

Here are pictures of him growing up. Pictures courtesy of Brad Anderson.

Day 3
Day 3
Day 20
Day 20
Day 20
Day 30
Day 30
Day 44
Day 44
Day 44

Day 44
Day 55
Day 55
Day 55

Will post pics that I took of Kyuubi this past weekend later on~

Friday, March 25, 2011

First Storm

Sunday night going into Monday morning was the worst experience I have ever had with Mika. It was pouring at night and there was a thunder storm. It didn't really hit until about 4 o'clock in the morning. I woke to a little bit of rumble, but it was nothing dramatic... yet. A loud boom went off, followed by distant roars of thunder and flashes of lightning. Car alarms went off, my bedroom shook and Mika startled from her sweet puppy dreams jumped up and started barking.

She wasn't going to go back to sleep. No way, not after that. I tried to soothe her to let her know that everything would be okay. She jumped off the bed and started patrolling the room, pacing back and forth. After a few minutes I no longer heard her walking around the bedroom. I called out to her and didn't get a response. I sit up and turn on the light on my nightstand, looking around the room for her while my eyes adjust to the light. On the floor, laying next to two blankets and a pillow, she was trembling. The storm was still relentless and Mika never experiencing a storm before had no idea what was going on, all she could do was lay there and let her body shake involuntarily. I got up out of bed, picked her up and put her back on the bed, she curled up next to me and I kept petting her until she fell asleep.

This isn't a very clear picture since it was taken from my phone in the middle of the night, but here she is before I brought her back onto the bed.

How do you doggy parents deal with things such as thunder storms when your beloved pet is scared?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Information For New Puppy Owners

I would have been lost raising Mika without the help of the Shiba Inu Forums & the Nihon Ken Forums. I learned so much about puppies and how to raise a healthy and happy pup. I never would have thought to pay for socialization classes for a puppy. I would have thought that visiting friends and their dogs would be enough socialization for any dog. Seeing as Mika is still a bit skittish of people, I'm afraid of what would have happened if I didn't put her through the socialization I did when I first got her.

The constant whines and nips of a puppy can make some people go crazy. A lot of people, not just myself turn to these support groups (forums) to find out if what they are doing with their puppy is correct. Even though it was less than a year ago that I started raising Mika as an 8 week old pup, I am still learning of new ways to approach different situations. Every dog is different, so things I did for Mika may not work for the new addition. So I spent the last few nights before bed watching playlists of helpful videos of Raising A Puppy and Playtime by Dr. Ian Dunbar.

I urge new puppy owners to visit Dog Star Daily and read the different texts that are available there. There is so much information to help owners who may want to give up and put their dog up for adoption. This is a way to help raise a puppy into a well behaved dog that can be your lifetime pal not just an out of control puppy waiting for a new owner to take on the challenge.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Irresponsible Breeding

Lately there have been more and more posts on the different Shiba Inu related forums I follow and there seems to be more people looking to stud or wanting to breed  their dogs. Heck, there was even one where a litter was produced from a non-standard shiba that no reputable breeder would have kept in their breeding program.

It just saddens me that people want to breed their dogs because it's cute and fun. There is so much more responsibility needed when bringing dogs into this world. There are so many dogs in shelters because of irresponsible breeding. Many people who breed for fun do not do the genetic testing to make sure their dog is free of any hereditary diseases, or breed dogs with an unwanted temperament.That in itself causes most dogs to go into shelters because some dogs are so fearful and some owners do not want to take the time to train their dog and to socialize them to get passed their fears, which can cause aggression.

If anyone is seriously thinking about becoming a breeder, I suggest you do a lot of research about the breed, the hereditary diseases that are in the breed, and do the proper testing to make sure your dogs are cleared from any of the diseases that make vet bills break the bank. Proper testing is recommended at 2 years of age. Anything before that will be too early to tell.

I just want to also make a note that I will be adding a male pup soon, and yes he will be kept intact. He is not a Shiba Inu, but is a different type of Nihon Ken. He will be kept intact in hopes to improve the bloodlines here in North America and add genetic diversity to his breed. The Shiba Inu does not need anymore genetic diversity as there are many of them in rescues looking for great homes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pinecone Addiction

Somehow Mika has developed an addiction for pinecones. I think it all started at the Nihon Ken Long Beach Meetup. There she saw Ichigo, fellow Shiba Inu, chew on a pinecone and Kurenai, Shikoku Ken, also chew on a pinecone. Before that meetup she would walk by pinecones everyday and never stopped to think about picking it up.

Since the meetup, whenever she sees a pinecone she has to grab it and trot around with it in her mouth. I really need to get a video of her when she's walking proudly with a pinecone in her mouth. It is the cutest thing ever.

Found a pinecone on our walk
Anyone else with dogs that love to carry something in their mouth while they are on their walks?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Weekend at the Dog Parks

We usually only take Mika to the dog park once a week. If there isn't a LA/OC Shiba Inu Meetup going on, then we will usually take Mika to Fullerton Pooch  Park on Sundays to meet Shaina and Ari. However, Mika got a treat! Kevin took her to Irvine's Central Bark Saturday morning, and we also took her to see Shaina and Ari on Sunday at Fullerton Pooch Park.

Mika still acts like a puppy and still has the energy of a puppy. I'm not sure if she will ever grow out of her puppiness, but I don't really want her to either! I love that she is so social and loves to be around other dogs. The down fall is that she doesn't realize when a dog is telling her to back off! I always have to try to redirect her to another dog or pull her attention away. Nope, she is relentless, if she has her eyes set on a certain dog that she wants to play with, she doesn't care! She will jump up on owners if they are holding their dog cause their dog is afraid of Mika (who could ever be afraid of her?). I've tried letting her get snapped at by other dogs so she can start to learn the body language of other dogs, but she still doesn't get it. I'm really afraid for her sometime, so I always have to watch her to make sure when the other dog has had enough and physically pick up Mika and give her a little break before putting her down again. That usually will break her focus on a dog and let her roam around til she finds another playmate.

Here are two videos from each dog park this past weekend. The first one is from Central Bark. Sorry for the ending, I was a bit too lazy to edit it  :) The second video is at Pooch Park and you also get a glimpse of Ari in the video. The owner of the dog Mika is playing with, didn't really like the way they were playing. Not sure why the owner felt uncomfortable. I personally think she played wonderfully with the other dog.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Doggy Daycare

Yes! There is such a thing as Doggy Daycare! Doggy Daycare is awesome, not only is someone watching your dog for you while you are not there, they get to socialize with other dogs, and play all day long! A dog playing for hours on end equals a tired dog at home! A tired dog means a non-destructive dog, which makes owners happy!

This was Mika's second time at Wags & Wiggles Daycare. The first time she went to daycare was when Kevin and I went to my nieces, Elise & Chloe's Birthday at Disneyland. We weren't able to watch her on the Doggy Cameras (yes they have live feed of the daycare!) on our phones, so we were always curious what she did at daycare. We've taken her to dog parks and after a while she just hangs out and walks around the park, but she is never at the dog park for more than 2 hours. She was at daycare for at least 8 hours so we were hoping there wouldn't be any separation anxiety, which we doubt she would have anyway since she loves other dogs.

So why the second time? I was going to be in Corona all day and I didn't want to leave Mika home alone, even though she has proven that she is trustworthy to be left alone. We had a free pass for daycare from Mika's graduation from Obedience Level 1, so we figured we might as well use it for today. Kevin dropped her off on his way to work and I logged on to watch her on the doggy camera before I left to Corona. Throughout the day we were watching the doggy camera to see how Mika did. She had a lot of fun playing and wrestling with other dogs. Embarrassing moment for us though is when we saw her jump up on two different daycare attendants. Apparently one of the attendants was holding onto another dog, a dog that Mika wanted to play with. So she jumped up to try to play with the dog. Ah, geez I'm just glad she isn't a 100 lb dog where that would be very dangerous, but it's still a bad habit. I'll need to work harder on training her not to jump when she wants something.

Overall Mika had a great time at daycare, she was able to let out all that energy that little shibas have! Right when she got home she passed out, she woke up to eat dinner, but not the entire thing. That is a sign that she is really tired! This girl is very food motivated and loves to eat, and her not finishing her dinner is shocking!

Here are some screenshots Kevin took of Mika at daycare from the doggy camera.


Where's Mika? :P

Here are some pictures of the aftermath of daycare!

all curled up
still snoozin'
cuddling with her snugga wubba

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


So, I just imported Mika's blog here. I decided that I just want to have one blog instead of having two, or three. So this blog will now be about me and my life. That includes the Inu, so don't worry you will still be seeing some Inu updates here!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snuggly Cuddle Bug

Yes, it is true. I, Mika, the Shiba Inu love to cuddle! Of course it is when no one is looking and when no one is able to get the proof! Even though I just admitted it, all you shiba owners out there know that shibas hate to be touched and held! So of course you will think I am just lying!

Lately, when going into bed I've been snuggling up super close to my mom. I even lay on her arm if she has it extended. I am always up against her face that it wakes her up when she is sleeping because my whiskers hit her. I love to be close to her. When readjusting myself during the night I always make sure I am touching her. Why the sudden change? Maybe cause I am growing up into a loving shiba!

Since there is no proof of my snuggles with my mom, I figured this picture will show a little bit of my cuddly side!

Cuddling with my Squirrel

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Videos from LA/OC Shiba Inu Meetup's 3rd Year Anniversary!

Enjoy the videos! First two of are many shibas and myself and the last one is of me and a black & tan shiba named Hiro!